Interference and My Desk…

An interesting thing happened to me the other day. On Saturday, I had set myself a list of tasks to do (of which I did accomplish all but one of them), however there was one slight problem. I forgot to include an item called “random other things I’d be asked to do during the day”.

Because of this, I got very annoyed at being asked by my mom to do multiple things that weren’t on my list. At one point, I just said something like “you know, why don’t I just clear my to-do list and let you write one for me?” After that, I could have sworn that she thought I was from another planet; it’s not like she couldn’t have seen me having a to-do list coming, as I’d mentioned to her a couple of times about the lack of day planners at Wal-Mart.

Now, I think she has come to the acceptance that I do have these to do lists and that I’m willing to do things, the only thing is that I have to be told that these things will happen before the day that they’re to be done. For example, she’s mentioned to me that on Saturday, we’re going to do some work around the yard. Is it a big deal for me on, say, Tuesday or even all the way up to Friday, to put it on my to-do list? Not at all.

I think I’m also fine with things being asked of me to do on the same day, just so long as it is only one or two things and not a whole bunch of items. Where I have the problem is when I’m asked to do a whole laundry list of things on that day within a short amount of time.

Another thing that I’m not sure is understood is that when I’m trying to focus on something, I don’t like to be interrupted. That is probably why when she’s using her computer, I just cannot seem to concentrate on whatever it is I’m trying to do. I know that eventually she will say something that will distract me from the task at hand.

You’re probably thinking along the lines of “why not close the door and just say I’m trying to focus”. Well, I would do that, but there are only three doors on the main level of the house. One is for the bathroom, the second is for the utility room (where there is an opening where a window used to be) and the other is between my bedroom and her bedroom.

There is the option of putting a door on the entry of my room (where there is currently a curtain), but that brings up another problem – lighting. Whenever I go into my room during the day, I have to turn on the light as the only natural light comes in via an opening where a window used to be and it only illuminates about a quarter of the room.

Admittedly, I like having the natural light to work with as it not only cuts down on electricity usage (we have a plan where power is more expensive during the day and cheaper at night), and it also allows me to have a view of what is going on outside.

I know that when I get a new desk (and now a new chair as well since the one I’m using is kind of on its last legs and has been for a while), I’ll have the opportunity to change around the area I work in. One of the changes I’m going to do is move the desk from where it is right now, right in the middle of the room; if I turn around, I can see all the way into the kitchen and if I’m in the kitchen I can see the monitor.

The most likely place that I’ll go with my workstation is to the corner by the window into my room. the only slight hitch with that plan is that the desk may jut out into the main walkway which is used for our entry in the winter – though that can be solved by moving some of the stuff on the other side of the room around to adjust for the walkway.

An advantage of having the desk on the other side of the room is that it should be quite a bit warmer in the winter – partly because there’s a register for the heat right above that location, but also because I’ll be facing an interior wall.

Of course, I can take this plan for a test run by setting aside a day to move my desk as it is now over to that side of the room, just to see how it would be over there.

I know that this has gone from talking about my to-do list to how my office is being set up, but I think that I’m currently working in a spot that can be at times detrimental to focusing on the tasks on my to-do list. The only way to fix it is to change the environment that I’m in to improve my focus.

2 thoughts on “Interference and My Desk…

  1. I think you just need to lay down the rules, my friend.

    Dr Phil says – you teach people how to treat you.

    So when she tries to give you tasks to be done on the spot, simply say “I’ll add it to tomorrow’s to do list”. When she interrupts you, simply hand her a piece of paper and say “Can you write that down for me, so we can discuss it when I’m not in the middle of something?”.


  2. I think the rules are being learned. Now, instead of just outright asking me to do something, I’ll be asked if I have anything on my list for the next day, and then get asked to do something on that day. Also, I don’t seem to have as many interruptions as I used to, which is always good.

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